Some of the most popular toys this year may not be the best gift for your child. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about a quarter of a million children are seen in hospital emergency departments in the U.S. each year due to toy-related injuries. Nearly half of those injuries were to the head and face, including the eyes. And about 35 percent of toy-related injuries are sustained by children under age 5. We want to remind parents and grandparents to shop with an EYE on SAFETY when choosing gifts for children.
Common toy-related eye injuries range from a minor scratch to the front surface of the eye (corneal abrasion) to serious, sight-threatening injuries such as traumatic cataract, bleeding inside the eye, retinal detachment, and even permanent vision loss.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, here are a few toys to avoid this holiday season.
- Avoid toys that shoot objects. This includes slingshots, dart guns, pellet guns, arrows, slingshots, and water balloon launchers. Closely supervise any child playing with such toys.
- Avoid drones with spinning rotors. A drone offered this holiday to children age 12 and up has spinning rotor blades that move at high speed, posing a danger to eyes, fingers, and hair.
- High-powered laser pointers can cause permanent vision loss. Though technically not a toy, some children use them to play “laser tag” or “flashlight tag.” Recent reports show that high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts) can cause permanent eye damage in children.
- Avoid toy swords, sabers, or wands.
- Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. To select appropriate gifts suited for a child’s age, look for and follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use, and supervision.
Give with JOY this holiday season with an EYE on SAFETY!
Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology